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If you or a loved one suffered from chemical exposure at work, you have two legal options: submitting a workers’ compensation claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit. It depends on where the chemical originated and who was responsible for overseeing the workplace at that time.
Burns are defined as injuries to the skin or other tissue caused by heat, radioactivity, contact with chemicals, or electricity. As of 2018, The World Health Organization (WHO) reports nearly 180,000 deaths each year. Non-fatal burns are the leading cause of “morbidity.” As employees, the best thing to avoid chemical burns is to wear protective material. However, if a co-worker does not and acts carelessly, they risk your overall well-being and increase your chances of long-term debilitating injuries.
In this article, we break down the difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits. It is best to consult with an accident injury attorney in Los Angeles for a complete depiction of the damages.
Were You Exposed to Chemicals on The Job?
Dangerous chemical exposure can happen at any job. Many cases of toxic exposure occur in factories where harsh elements are used to manufacture. But, when employees get burned from products like cleaning supplies, it can mean that the work area was not maintained properly.
Another environment where you may be surrounded by several types of chemicals is a construction site, for example. When the site manager fails to teach you how to handle acids or similar substances, your chances of getting hurt increase. High-risk groups are older adults, those with disabilities, and infants. Chemical burns are associated with powerful elements that can possibly burn through flesh, like:
- Strong acids
- Drain cleaner
- Paint thinners
- Battery Acid
- Other solvents
Not all workplace chemicals can dissolve skin, but you might experience rashes and prolonged irritation. The best thing to do is wear protective gear and equipment like safety glasses, gloves, a hazmat suit, and a helmet. Depending on the toxin, fumes can reach and damage your throat and lungs. When your employer does not provide adequate protection or a co-worker intentionally hurts you, a burn accident lawyer in LA will fight tooth and nail to help you get through it.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
The best thing to do is file a workers’ compensation claim when you sustain a chemical burn. In California, employees are entitled to compensation benefits, with a few limitations. Unlike a personal injury claim, burn injury victims do not need to prove fault. The only thing required is documentation stating that you were exposed to a chemical at work, and because of the exposure, you got hurt.
If the incident is costing you money, do not wait to recover the financial restitution that is rightfully owed to you. Through the company’s insurance policy, you can receive the following:
- Medical coverage
- Income replacement
- Retraining expenses if an employee cannot work at the job held, “prior to” getting burned
- Partial compensation for long-term/long-lasting injuries
- Benefits to the family of a worker who dies from work-related accidents (death benefits)
A chemical burn injury lawyer in Los Angeles would advise you to follow these tips as well:
- Report the incident to a supervisor immediately.
- Explain exactly how your exposure/burn happened.
- Provide the names of co-workers that witnessed what took place.
- After you thoroughly submerge the wound in water, get medical treatment.
- Explain to your health care providers that you were exposed to a toxic chemical.
When Is Best to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Keep in mind any employee that got burned on the job cannot file a lawsuit against the employer.
If you were injured through the legal fault of someone other than the employer, chances are you can file a claim against that negligent person or the company itself. LA burn accident attorneys refer to this as a “third party” claim outside of an employee-employer relationship. When you choose to take legal action outside of going through the company’s insurance, you must have evidence to prove fault to recover damages.
In other words: because the defendant did something wrong, you got hurt.
Not all chemical burn claims will lead to a third-party case, but it is likely. For instance, if an employer oversaw the workplace, provided the chemicals, yet did not give you protective equipment, this would not be an effective injury lawsuit. However, if the chemical manufacturer failed to provide a warning label disclosing that you must wear protection while using the substance, you have a better chance. An attorney can build your case on the missing warning.
Finding A Personal Injury Lawyer in LA
The best way to evaluate your damages is by consulting with a law firm with ample experience working on similar cases. Burn injury victims often feel hesitant about recovering damages from the opposing party. Unfortunately, the reality you could face is unexpected time off from work to recover and accumulating medical bills. In the end, negligent persons should be held responsible, and a fire injury attorney in LA will make sure that they are.
Have Questions? Reach Out to Our Burn Accident Law Firm
“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey
When you or a loved one are injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in several practice areas:
- Traffic Accidents
- Premises Accidents
- Personal Injuries
- Product Liability
- Nursing Home Abuse
Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be challenging to choose legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at 323-768-0497 or email email@example.com.